Roundup Month 2
Month 2 was amazing. It’s hard to say if it was better or worse than month 1 as I went to so many places and had so many fabulous experiences. All I know is that I would love to do it all again. And will do in fact on my next travelling trip.
- Countries visited: Italy, Croatia and Hungary
- Number of places visited: 22 over 35 days
- Favourite country verdict: Croatia
- Favourite stop: Budapest
- Best hostel: Lake Como Youth Hostel La Primula in Menaggio
- Best moment: Laughing so hard that I almost peed myself when Fiona (a crazy kiwi gal) did a drunken late night skinny dip twice into the freezing cold Lake Como water in North Italy.
- Worst moment: The moment when I realised I couldn’t make it to Bari on Italy’s east coast in time to catch my booked overnight ferry to Croatia, despite trying so so hard, and spending (aka: wasting) quite a bit of money to do so.
Budget spent overall: nz$4946 / €3172 / £2530
- Flights – nz$561 / €360
- flights x3 – Barcelona to Pisa €58, and Budapest to London x2 – 1st flight £61, 2nd £180
- Overnight Ferries – nz$265 / €170
- Ferries x2 – Naples to Sicily €61, and Bari to Dubrovnik €109 (including £20 fee for changing the reservation to a different sailing)
- Transport – nz$832 / €534
- Really roughly done from memory and using Rome2rio.com to remember costs, but this includes all my trains, buses, daytime ferries and blablacars.
- Accommodation – nz$870 / €558
- Works out to an average of nz$25 / €15 a night in hostel dorm rooms.
- The rest on fun stuff, food and miscellaneous – nz$2416 / €1550
- Including fun things like my Naples scuba diving (€90), Plitvice Lakes day trip (€45), Budapest caving tour (€20), Budapest pool party (€30), Dubrovnik kayaking (€50) just to name a few of the most pricey ones.
- Favourite photo:
Taken in Taormina, Sicily. An old run down blue truck next to the beach
- Thoughts overall:
Budget-wise I do feel a little shocked at the overall totals. I was aware that I wasn’t keeping as on track with my intended budget, but I didn’t expect to go over by nearly double :S Perhaps my original estimated budget of nz$600 a week was a little unrealistic.
My transport costs especially were not as good as month 1. This is partly due to my screw-ups with trying to get to Bari via train after my prearranged cheap Blablacar ride cancelled on me. That day alone cost me €134 instead of the €20 car ride I had originally planned. My taxi to the Budapest airport also figures in there, but I feel too ashamed to share how much that cost (a lot) considering I still ended up missing the flight, and had to buy another plane ticket which of course added on another unnecessary £180 itself to the overall total.
I had 17 ‘travel days’ in total during this whole month but the transport cost figure still seems out of proportion considering I have separated my overnight ferries and flights from that number too. It would have been worse if I hadn’t used blablacar to minimise costs for some of those long distances. Organised hitchiking (or ride-sharing) through the Blablacar website was was definitely one of my best decisions as the cost of an organised ride would often be less than half of the cost of travelling by train or bus for the same distance. I can only think that perhaps I did try to see too many places (especially within Italy) as 17 travel days is higher than the previous month’s total of 14. I also can’t help but think ugh Sicily as going there definitely increased my outgoing costs and I didn’t even enjoy it that much. Despite my favourite photo being captured there which I know is ironic. Still I reckon I would have spent even more on transport if I had ended up using my railpass. Probably only marginally though..
I don’t regret my fun things and food spending as each activity and dish was definitely worth it. I feel richer rather than poorer remembering the amazing things I got up to. Some of my best memories during the trip are linked in with those activities and experiences. Like when I scuba-dived an underwater Italian city in Naples. I still remember coming across the first seaweed-covered and slightly broken statue and feeling my mind explode with the WOOOOW. As expensive as some of those activities were, I would balance it out by not doing something so adventurous and pricey for the next few days. Same with food. I would only treat myself to one cultural good meal a day, which even then I was still picky about with going for meal deals of €10 or less generally, and the other meals would be budget ones to equate the cost.
One cost that should have been avoided was foreign bank transaction fees. I used my UK bank card waaay too much which is dumb considering I specifically invested in the Air New Zealand Onesmart debit card before coming over to Europe. The Onesmart is a handy card for New Zealanders as it doesn’t have any fees charged for using it overseas including using ATMs. I liked that feature especially as I do feel paranoid about carrying too much cash on my person (in case I get pickpocketed or mugged) so would ultilise an ATM every other day usually, and pay for my accommodation using the onesmart. Whenever I ran out of money on my onesmart, I kept using my UK card to pay for things while waiting for the next money top-up to come through on the onesmart from my NZ bank account. Rather than planning in advance a little better which is what I should have done as that happened a few times too often. I was also using my UK card as my ‘naughty card’ for whenever I brought something I knew I shouldn’t, like those gorgeous spanish boots and new clothing. But I paid for that privilege. My bank fees added up to roughly nz$80 in total. What a waste!
Sexy sexy boots… drool..
And just for interest, and because I secretly like crunching numbers to torture myself, my total total cost of my whole 2 month (70 day) travelling trip was…
NZ$8536 / £4367 / €5476
I feel poor now.
Just as a side note. If you’re wondering how I worked out my budget, it’s pretty simple. To obtain the overall spending I used my banking accounts’ in/out feature for the date range of my trip to obtain my total outgoing figure. I simply break that down into further categories of flights, accommodation etc by trawling through my email receipts. Hence why transport is done quite roughly from memory as I paid cash the majority of the time, and I don’t hang onto paper receipts generally. Anything I can’t work out goes into the miscellaneous category. I do this to help you with planning your own trip, and because it helps me to face up to my actual spending costs, and to see where I need to plan better in order to travel for longer on less money. Plus it’s also just interesting to me despite the poor feeling at the end of it ;)
And if you’re interested in reading about the wrap up for the first month and seeing the map, check out the post here: Month 1 Roundup